A couple of years ago, the boyfriend and I had quite the wedding season. We went to 4 weddings and I was actually in one of them. Millennials tend to wait to get married, but that doesn’t stop all the weddings from happening at once. It just means they happen a little later.
Over this past weekend the boyfriend and I went to our only wedding this year. I enjoyed this wedding because 1. I’m older and I’m quite the pro at weddings now, thank you very much, and 2. I was prepared.
I feel confident in expressing that I have learned a lot, perhaps too much, about being a wedding guest. So, in the spirit of sharing all my wisdom, I present to you:
My Top 5 Tips to Surviving Wedding Season
1. Save for Months in Advance
If you’ve read this post, then you are aware that the boyfriend and I try to stick to a pretty tight budget so we can afford fun stuff.. like food and power and water. Your friend’s weddings can take a toll on your bank account. As soon as you get the invite, start saving. The hotel room + your clothes + a gift + his clothes + traveling + new shoes = you’re broke. Maybe you’re thinking.. but it’s not fair! It’s not even my wedding! That’s the price you pay for having friends, guys. And maybe consider that when and if you have your own wedding. Weddings are stressful enough without having to secretly check your bank account to make sure the hotel didn’t overdraft you. Save some money. Save some stressing.
2. Ask Everyone What They Are Wearing
It seems to me that traditional wedding rules are changing. I’ve found that the time of the wedding doesn’t always dictate what you should wear. Great example: this past wedding was at 4pm but we were informed that the dress code was formal. I have no problem with that! I like dressing up. But, had I relied entirely on normal wedding tradition rules, I wouldn’t have dressed as fancy as I did. (BTW: I borrowed real jewelry from my aunt, because all mine is from Old Navy. My dress came from TJ Maxx.) My point here is – discuss with other guests what they will be wearing. In my case, I had to nag the boyfriend until he texted some friends. And always remember: it’s better to be overdressed. I mean, what is everyone going to say? That you looked too good? Exactly.
3. Gift Cards are Totally Acceptable
Wedding registries are the worst. I hate them. I understand they serve a purpose, but I still hate them. Lots of times people will register for 2389428374 million things and you’re like… what do you really need?! What do I choose?! Or, on the flip side, they will register for about 30 things and then they all cost over $50 and you’re like… we aren’t good enough friends for me to drop $50 on you. That’s why I rely on gift cards. Again, if you look it up, you most likely will find that gift cards should be a last resort. Nope. It’s my go-to. Everyone appreciates an extra little bit of money, or a meal out, or a trip to the movies. Write inside the card: for your first date/movie/meal/shopping trip as a married couple. And you’re golden.
4. To Hotel or Not to Hotel?
Most wedding websites (because that’s a thing) will list the hotel where you can stay under the wedding rate. Newsflash: You don’t have to do this. In my experience, these pre-chosen hotels are the nicest hotels around the ceremony/reception site. It’s totally fine to book a cheaper hotel. Your friends will probably be doing this, too. Also, this lowers your odds of having a room right next to the groom’s grandma from out-of-town. Which lowers your odds of a social anxiety attack when you have to talk to the groom’s grandma from out-of-town. Get a hotel room, though, if you can, because this will allow you to fully partake in the open bar (if there is one). Good luck if there’s not.
5. Ummm…Why Am I Not in This Wedding?
I was invited to one wedding where I was seriously shocked I wasn’t in the wedding party. That is such a ridiculous thing to think because actually being in a wedding costs 450 more dollars (I made that up, but it seems true) than just going to a wedding. I suppose my feelings were hurt. But, just try to remember that it’s hard for the bride and groom to narrow down their very best friends and maybe you just aren’t as close to that person as someone else. Or maybe they could only have a certain amount of bridesmaids and you just barely missed the cut. Count yourself lucky that you don’t have to buy the dress that you will never wear again and enjoy sitting and relaxing and watching your friend get married.
Those are my five pearls of wisdom to help you survive wedding season. If you haven’t had your wedding season – it’s coming. Be prepared and try to enjoy it. Someone else is paying for you to eat and drink and, if all else fails, it’s a great excuse to buy new clothes.